APM support for ADS-B air-traffic control receiver now in beta

This is very encouraging:

ADS-B is an air traffic surveillance technology that enables aircraft to be accurately tracked by air traffic controllers and other pilots without the need for conventional radar.

This article explains how to attach and configure a MAVLink based ADS-B receiver by uAvionix called PING™. Please visit their website for technical specs including RF characteristics and connector pinout.

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Comment by Tom Pittenger on November 24, 2015 at 6:48pm

There is current support for plane, copter is coming. 

Comment by Jaeyoung Lim on November 24, 2015 at 7:32pm

This seems very nice and promising, especially using DVB-T SDR modules

although I am skeptical if with current regulations if

UAVs should be able to conduct a sense and avoid maneuver as they are usually banned to fly in airspace which manned aircraft are flying

Comment by Tom Pittenger on November 24, 2015 at 7:37pm
Helicopters fly low altitudes.
Comment by JB on November 24, 2015 at 8:21pm

Looks cool and is compact.

I'm just wondering what type of RF components are used. I can't imagine it being SDR or is it?

I'm assuming it's running some sort of Silabs/AD components to get transceiver (transponder with 0.5W TX) functionality, similar to the telemetry modems we use for the PXH? 

If it's using more conventional RF tech and priced sharp we might see good adoption. Anyone know how much?

Comment by Tom Pittenger on November 24, 2015 at 8:34pm
Price is not yet set. The RF front end is not SDR based like the USB dongle, it's a proper single purpose embedded solution that outputs MAVLink. It also decodes both 1070 and 978 MHz channels at the same time.
Comment by JB on November 24, 2015 at 8:55pm

Thanks Tom for the info.

In regards to the information it provides over Mavlink is it possible to display this information as a overlay on the GCS, for example to show other airspace users on the map, and does it already automatically take evasive action upon detection? I'm assuming of course that it doesn't require a companion SBC onboard and can connect directly to a APM/PXH via UART?

If so we might be interested in using the device in the Medical Express Challenge as a demonstration kit. When will it become available? Feel free to PM me otherwise.

Regards JB 

Comment by Tom Pittenger on November 24, 2015 at 9:16pm
I don't have any hardware, I just wrote the driver for it (and wrote this wiki). You'll have to contact the hardware vendor with regards to getting hardware.

The hardware does indeed allow object avoidance as-is with a pixhawk, no companion computer needed. It's a basic evasion right now, only does a loiter to avoid which doesn't even guarantee avoidance because it may soon you into it! More work is meeded, as the wiki states. The current implementation is a first draft proof of concept.

Comment by Randy on November 24, 2015 at 9:57pm

Nice work on the integration Tom!

I'm sure it's going to be really useful having a tiny little real-time ADS-B receiver on some vehicles.

Comment by JB on November 24, 2015 at 10:00pm

Thanks Tom.

I missed the link to the wiki in the original post and presumed you were involved in the hardware due to your knowledge of the project. Looks good!

I'm thinking that a companion computer connected to a RTLSDR USB dongle could be used to trigger the same avoidance parameters over mavlink in PXH as well? I realise that this is RX only, but it might find a very high rate of adoption especially if the SDR dongle can also be used for other RF monitoring as well. Would be really awesome to see further integration of RF comms/SDR/ADSB into GCS software. Might need to give Michael a bell as he lives "just down the road". Great work!

BTW do you know if there s already a development pathway to adopt this type progress further? I'd be interested in participating.

Comment by Tom Pittenger on November 24, 2015 at 10:00pm
Thanks Randy! If you need some help getting it on copter just ping me and I can walk you through it.


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